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For Texas Teachers
If you teach middle school math in the great state of Texas, then this is for you! The STAAR (State of Texas Assessment of Academic Readiness) has made some pretty significant changes starting in the 2022-2023 school year which means your students will be taking a different test than in years prior. Let’s check out what the TEA STAAR redesign has in store for you.
This is probably not your first time to hear this information. I imagine you will be attending (or have already attended) some professional developments regarding STAAR changes, but this post will serve as a general synopsis of what the changes are and how Maneuvering the Middle will aid in your preparation. Come back next week where I will give more tips on how to use this new resource effectively with your students.
Why is STAAR changing?
STAAR is changing to better align with how students are learning in the classroom. According to TEA, “Classroom practices that over-use multiple choice questions… can get small, short-term gains on STAAR, but evidence has shown they don’t lead to high performance or long-term mastery.”
What is Changing?
House Bill 3906 (first time I have reference a specific law on this blog, I believe) requires these changes to improve the STAAR (not all of the changes are listed):
- 75% multiple choice question cap
- Transition to 100% online testing
75% multiple choice question cap means there will be 25% (or more) free response type of questions that will be NEW question types. This means your students are moving away from filling in the griddable and will need exposure to the new question types. This will allow students more ways to show their understanding.
- Equation editor – Students can write responses in the form of fractions, expressions, equations or inequalities
- Graphing – Students select points, draw lines, drag bar graphs and more to create different types of graphs
- Number Line – Students select a point, an open or closed circle, and a direction arrow to demonstrate a solution set on a number line
- Inline Choice – Students select the correct answer(s) from a drop-down menu
- Hot Spot – Students respond by selecting one or more specific areas of a graphic
- Drag and Drop – Students evaluate given options (words, numbers, symbols, etc) and chooses which response(s) to drag to a given area (a diagram, map, chart, etc)
- Match Table Grid – Students match statements or objects to different categories presented in a table grid
- Multiselect – Students can select more than one correct answer from a set of possible answers
If you are feeling a little anxious reading this list, you aren’t alone. Let’s take a collective deep breath together… ahhhhhhh. (Did you read that as screaming? No? Me neither.)
Source: TEA Website
Maneuvering the Middle’s STAAR Question Bank
Our curriculum team has been working hard behind the scenes to prepare a question bank with a variety of practice problems presented in the new question type formats. Your students get exposure to the new question types while reviewing the year’s content all at once. Win – win!
While reviewing the content is of primary importance to encourage students’ success in answering questions correctly, we believe practicing the new question type formats achieves two main goals:
- To relieve students’ anxiety that inevitably comes when seeing something presented in a new way.
- To increase success on all question types – even multiple choice formats. Many of the new question type formats require deeper thinking that can translate to success on the multiple choice questions.
How did we create a Question Bank?
When creating this STAAR Question Bank, we researched and became familiar with the new question types based on the released materials and practice tests.
Every readiness standard was studied and their historical trends were analyzed. Based on our findings, we asked ourselves, “What question types would the standard naturally lend itself to?”
- Open-ended questions or multiple choice questions with a single value answer could be assessed as an equation editor on the new test
- Vocabulary concepts, comparisons, or procedures could be assessed as inline choice
- Sorting or classifying concepts might be assess as a match table grid
- Questions that lend themselves to multiple follow-up questions, observations or more than one correct representation/answer might easily be asked as multi-select
Grab Your STAAR Question Bank Resource
Next week will be talking about HOW to use the STAAR Question Bank in your classroom, so be sure to come back!
Texas teachers, how are you feeling about these changes to the TEA STAAR redesign?